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Black/Black 2013 CTS Sedan 3.0L RWD (102k miles)
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Discussion Starter #1
Asking the forum folks who know much more about engines and oils than me.

Due to the pandemic, I am working from home (0 commute miles) and not going to visit anyone or travel anywhere. I only drive the car to the market, drive thru food occasionally, and other essential functions pretty much. Once a month we take a 60 mile drive to the beach and back just to let the engine burn hot for more than 10 minutes.

As such, I am on pace to drive only about 3000 miles per year. I know the manual calls for an oil change on at least an annual basis, but since I live in Southern California (hot and dry, so less risk of water getting in the oil) and if using full synthetic oil, is it okay to stretch it out to 18 months or even 2 years?

Or is it best to just change every year no matter the mileage? I've seen tests online that say oil was still good after a year, but have not seen any tests done for more than a year.
 

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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 馃檮
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It's a personal choice.
I would opt to change it annually in your circumstance.


Good to see you posting, Bob.
 

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2010 Cadillac CTS Performance Wagon
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53 Posts
Asking the forum folks who know much more about engines and oils than me.

Due to the pandemic, I am working from home (0 commute miles) and not going to visit anyone or travel anywhere. I only drive the car to the market, drive thru food occasionally, and other essential functions pretty much. Once a month we take a 60 mile drive to the beach and back just to let the engine burn hot for more than 10 minutes.

As such, I am on pace to drive only about 3000 miles per year. I know the manual calls for an oil change on at least an annual basis, but since I live in Southern California (hot and dry, so less risk of water getting in the oil) and if using full synthetic oil, is it okay to stretch it out to 18 months or even 2 years?

Or is it best to just change every year no matter the mileage? I've seen tests online that say oil was still good after a year, but have not seen any tests done for more than a year.
Good question...I'm in SoCal also, similar circumstances. I plan on changing it when the oil life monitor gets down to 25%.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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The people who designed, built, and tested the engines recommend following the OLM or annually, whichever occurs first.

My STS is now essentially a garage queen - we put less than 2,000 miles on it in the last 14 months - just got its annual oil/filter change.
 

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Black/Black 2013 CTS Sedan 3.0L RWD (102k miles)
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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah I changed my oil last in Feb 2020, its been 2900 miles since then and the OLM says its at 49%.

Okay I can see the rationale for changing the oil, but the filters are designed for miles right? They don't degrade if no oil is going thru it to be filtered. Can I just drain the oil and refill and use the same filter (that should last until the regular 7,500 or so miles)
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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72,225 Posts
Your call, but it's not a good idea to remove and replace the same spin-on filter (rubber gasket deformation over time). For the extra $8 why take a shortcut ?
 

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2009 CTS4 Premium & 2012 SRX4 Luxury
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782 Posts
My take on it, I go by mileage, not age. There's no sell-by or expiration date on jugs of oil. Why should there be an expiration once it's poured in an engine vs. sitting on a shelf? I drive my truck on avg 2k miles a year, I change the oil every other year. I use a store brand synthetic, and I check it periodically to make sure the level is good. Has 145k miles on it and still running strong. This year, with the drastic change in annual mileage due to COVID, I plan to do the same with the Caddy.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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72,225 Posts
Engine oil in a sealed jug or can is forever. In an engine, subjected to the least bit of wear particles, condensation moisture, or blowby acids, it begins to deteriorate immediately.

The manufacturer (GM) recommendation is based on "better safe than sorry". YRMV
 

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2009 CTS4 Premium & 2012 SRX4 Luxury
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782 Posts
Engine oil in a sealed jug or can is forever. In an engine, subjected to the least bit of wear particles, condensation moisture, or blowby acids, it begins to deteriorate immediately.
Wear particles and Blowby acids accumulate based on runtime/mileage, not sitting 6 out of 7 days a week not running. Condensation/moisture I would worry about sitting for months on end without being run. Running it once a week or every other week getting it up to temp should take care of that. Many tractors, off-road vehicles recommend service based on runtime, not calendar age.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Running it once a week - unless the drive is for over 20 miles - accomplishes nothing because the engine guts never heat up enough to boil off condensation and acids. A start-idle-goose it twice-10 minute run is actually more damaging to an engine than letting it sit. One reason that stop-and-go driving and long idle times fall under the "severe service" categories.
 

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2009 CTS4 Premium & 2012 SRX4 Luxury
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Running it once a week - unless the drive is for over 20 miles - accomplishes nothing because the engine guts never heat up enough to boil off condensation and acids.
That's why I said running it once a week or every-other week getting it up to temp takes care of that. I didn't say start it, rev it a few times and shut it off. I drive the truck to Lowe's, or Advance, or the local beer distributor. I do put 2k miles a year on it, it doesn't get those by sitting in one spot revving the motor.
 

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Black/Black 2013 CTS Sedan 3.0L RWD (102k miles)
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited by Moderator)
Your call, but it's not a good idea to remove and replace the same spin-on filter (rubber gasket deformation over time). For the extra $8 why take a shortcut ?
But if I only change the oil I wouldn't remove the filter housing cap. I'd just drain the oil from the bottom, then add more up top.

I am asking because I have never had this happen before. Generally it takes me 5-7 months to get the OLM down to 5%.

On a side note, for air filters, its okay to go by mileage right? Like if the cabin filter is to be changed every 22,500 miles, then whether it takes 1 year or 7 years, I just need to change it at 22,500 miles? I mean the filter isn't going to go bad just sitting in the garage right?
 

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2019 XTS Luxury AWD, 2004 SRX N* AWD (gone)
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I would follow the manual, once a year or when the monitor says to change...that includes the filter. It's cheap insurance, why take a risk.
 

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2019 XTS Luxury AWD, 2004 SRX N* AWD (gone)
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I am asking because I have never had this happen before. Generally it takes me 5-7 months to get the OLM down to 5%.

On a side note, for air filters, its okay to go by mileage right? Like if the cabin filter is to be changed every 22,500 miles, then whether it takes 1 year or 7 years, I just need to change it at 22,500 miles? I mean the filter isn't going to go bad just sitting in the garage right?
It's the dust and debris from driving, so I would say if it's not dirty or has mildew, it's okay to go longer. How much longer though????
 

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**2014 CTS4 Sport Wagon-Luxury**
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I have owned a fun car in addition to my regular car since 2001...that car never gets to the mileage step in order to change out but I always change them on an annual basis...

my current fun car is a Chevrolet SS sedan with an LS3 and the oil is changed annually with the OLM almost never below the 50% indicator...with COVID the CTS sport wagon doesn't reach the mileage in a year either but I still change the oil annually...

I prefer to err on the side of caution...YMMV

Bill
 

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2012 SRX4 Premium
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393 Posts
For many years I've changed my oil based on appearance. If it's a nice amber brown it's OK. If it's black it gets changed. Generally every 3-5k. Since oil and filters are cheap it's not a bad idea to change it annually even if it isn't black, but I don't worry about it much. I just hate to see black oil on the stick though. If I can't see the hash marks without wiping the stick it's time for some new stuff.
 

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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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I would change your air filter according to mileage, not annually. Oil, change it annually. Including oil filter. And use a new O-Ring. ALWAYS.
 

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Black/Black 2013 CTS Sedan 3.0L RWD (102k miles)
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Discussion Starter #19
Previously, my 3.0 never burned oil. The dipstick stayed in the same spot between the hash marks from the beginning of the oil change until I take it back in for the next one 7000 miles later.

However, today I checked and it was low so ended up putting in half a quart.

Of course, this could be attributed to the fact that its been ten months since my last oil change (longest interval so far). But I have driven less than 3000 miles. Could this potentially be another side effect of the spark plug replacement?
 

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2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Sport Luxury
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1,572 Posts
I dont think spark plugs can change oil consumption. But if you have many short trips where the engine is heating up and cooling down you will have a lot of ventilation out of the crankshaft. Perhaps some oil will vent too.

The consumption you refer to is not to be concerned about.

I do not know if piston rings can become leaky from short trips. I know Volvos 4 cylinder VEA engine has huge problems with piston rings getting stuck in the piston recess with extreme oil consumption as a result.

My best advice is to take the car on a long trip to burn off all water and residues in the oil and rev it good so everything is getting motion and soot burns off.
 
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